TURN YOUR DEGREE INTO A CAREER
3 key university skills that you can leverage into a job
The past couple of years have been described as challenging, testing, uncertain… journalists and politician types have used every adjective they can think of and more. We understand though, that for our students, the past couple of years have made one question even more important.
The answer isn’t as complex as you think. It’s all about using every element of your studies to their best advantage and leveraging your skills and knowledge when you’re applying for positions.
Remember, your degree is important but what you can bring to that degree is just as important. The fearless passion, the knowledge, the skills you’ve developed as you’ve been earning those letters, that’s all YOU.
So let’s look at three key skills that you’ll learn across your studies that are important when you enter the job market.
Recruiters and employers have a stack of terms they like to throw around at office parties. Terms like ‘soft skills’ and ‘transferrable skills’. These are the skills that don’t relate to your specific degree but are hugely important when you’re looking for a job.
For just a moment, let’s forget which degree you’re interested in and look at the other skills you’ll learn that will excite employers.
You may be thinking “duh, tell me something I don’t know”. But if you’re reading this on your phone while you’re hopping to the bus because you’re running so late you didn’t have time to put your second shoe on, it may be worth thinking about your time management skills.
University study is great for teaching you time management skills. It doesn’t matter which degree you’re studying; time management will play a big part in your life. Whatever jobs you apply for outside of uni, highlight your time management skills. It’s important for recruiters and employers to feel confident that you can get the job done quickly and efficiently.
We offer one-on-one appointments with our prospective student team to discuss career options, pathways, and course and entry requirements.
You learn a lot of these at university. Social intelligence and emotional intelligence are two key soft skills. Social intelligence includes understanding how the dynamics of groups work, learning to listen effectively and generally understanding what makes other people tick. Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of your own emotions, to be able to control and express them effectively and to use that self-knowledge in your relationships with others.
When you learn how to hand over an assignment on time, that’s a time management skill (did you get to the bus on time?). When you learn how to successfully work through the frustrations of having to complete that assignment, even though you have to juggle work, family, friends and sit up until 4am before it’s finished, that’s showing social and emotional intelligence. You’ll be able to leverage these soft skills in a range of situations, such as interviews, or setting up networking opportunities.
One of the most important skills you can leverage when you’re in the job market. University study empowers you to be self-motivated. There’s way less hand-holding at university than you may have experienced in high school. You’re expected to keep yourself motivated, and most people soon find they prefer it that way.
The problem is, when you’re looking for a job it’s tempting to reduce the importance of self-motivation until it becomes nothing more than another dot point on your resume. Avoid that temptation. Employers want self-motivated people. What they don’t want is a stack of resumes that simply read…
Seriously, 99% of recruiters will be so bored they won’t even get to that last bullet point.
Leverage your self-motivation, don’t just mention it. Highlight how self-motivation has worked for you. Use examples. Demonstrate how your self-motivation can be of use in the position you’re applying for.
Your university degree will give you an edge in the job market. The skills mentioned above are just a few of the transferrable skills you’ll pick up. Critical thinking, communication, persuasion, research skills, organisation… you’ll be amazed at the workplace skills you’ll learn at university. Just be sure to use them, and leverage what you need into the career of your dreams.
Find out more about planning your career, connecting with employers and planning for employment at Flinders University.
How to avoid the 'same old, same old' and head for successLearn more
Programs to prepare you for the careers of the futuresLearn more
How a uni degree can get you the job you want.Learn more
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